Imphal: State Mission Director Dr. Somorjit Ningombam has advised all the mothers to choose breastfeeding for babies and refrain from adding any food supplement till six months.
He kickstarted World Breastfeeding Week 2022 organised by Child Health, State Health Society NHM, Directorate of Health Services and Family Welfare at the complex of Directorate of Health Services located at Lamphelpat on Friday.
‘Step up for breastfeeding: educate and support’ was the theme of the event. Officials from different districts participated in a state level virtual conference which underscored the huge benefit and importance of breast milk.
Dr Somorjit further said that the mother’s breast milk must be given to the baby within one hour of birth. He advised all mothers not to add other food supplements to feed babies till six months. Addition of other food supplements within the six-month period may not be good for the baby’s health, he said. They can be feeded by other supplements after six months but it is important for the mother to continue breastfeeding till two years, he said.
Citing the importance of breastfeeding, Dr. Somorjit said that shortage of breastfeeding not only makes a baby suffer from diarrhea and infection. It also causes various problems such as lack of vitamin, protein etc., he said, adding that breastfeeding protects the baby 14 percent from suffering from diarrhea and 4 percent from infection. Breastfeeding protects them from various illnesses, said Dr. Somorjit.
He also said that breastfeeding reduces bleeding and enlargement of the womb, besides giving various benefits to the mother.
Breastfeeding also helps in building emotional bonds between the baby and mother, he added.
Dr. Somorjit maintained that the Colostrum, the first breastfeed released from the mammary glands after giving birth is thrown away by some mothers because some believe that it will make the baby sick. He said that the Colostrum must be given to the baby because it contains many hormones. He appealed to all mothers to make it compulsory to give the Colostrum to the baby.
Dr Somorjit appealed to all ASHA workers, ANMs, ANGANWADI workers, doctors, and nurses to work with dedication to take benefits of the breastfeeding week.
Officials of the State Mission Department and other dignitaries were also present at the event.